Monday, June 05, 2006
You are Obsolete
I saw an ad for a new DVD release on the boob-tube and it mentioned the Blu-Ray version would be coming soon. That gave me a thought and a shiver. I thought back to the days of vinyl records and how for many years the only thing that changed about the format was the sound quality improved and the prices kept going up. Collectors and consumers of the product could purchase new records with the satisfaction of knowing that they could remove the outer wrapping, place the disc on the turntable, give it a spin and put the needle down on the record. Oh and switch the speed back to 33rpm after realizing you had left it set at 45 making Dolly Parton sound like a chipmonk. Now-a-days the formats are going through changes almost daily. There is also a current trend to have everything downloaded to your computer. My big problem with that is there is nothing physical to hold onto or to read while listening to it. It's like reading a book on the computer screen or as a stack of printed out pages, it just isn't the same as holding a real book in your hands and turning the pages. It has lost all it's intimacy. You don't even know if you will be able to play you collection anymore.
Now many people are downloading music onto their Ipods without batting an eye. OK since it's all digital the quality is as good as the original source but where is the cover art? Where are the liner notes? I guess people don't care about those things anymore. Back in the days before Ipods and downloading music, if you wanted to make a copy of a song, you either had to tape it off the radio, or purchase (or borrow) the record or tape and record it manually. The quality wasn't always great and your cover art work was some generic TDK logo or whatever brand of tape you were using, no liner notes. You either had to hand write the tracks or take the time to type them up.